Neith"s Crafty Creations - image created with Club Scrap DigiDeluxe Refresh and Serengeti Kits

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Stamping Meets Beading & Crochet!

Club Scrap Collections Beads; Club Scrap Fossils Stamp, Mica, & Bottle; Sculpey Clay; Beachcombed Items; Jewelry Wire & Gold Seed Beads

I've been really enjoying beading lately and wanted to throw more scrapping supplies into the mix! What better way than to add stamped polyclay beads and an altered tin to present a gift of jewelry in? This gift does just that while also bringing in a seasonal beach theme to my poor Caribbean friend who is living here in New England now and suffering through our winter!

I created my own faded sheet of Sculpey III Clay ranging from light to dark shimmering blue, with a little bit of Ranger Adirondack Denim Embossing Powder added to it for grittiness and shimmer! After it was rolled out, I also used the Club Scrap Fossils 08/04 Nautilus Collage Stamp with Ranger Cobalt Archival Ink before curing the clay on my Altoid lid! I also spray painted the bottom of the Altoid tin and used some spray on webbing on top of the base color!

I decorated the cover of the tin with an uneven corner piece made from beaded wire that I crocheted along with some locally found seashells and sea glass as well as the Club Scrap Fossils 8/04 Artquest Mica plus Club Scrap Surf's Up! 7/06 Drilled Shell and Glass Bottle filled with my own shells, sea glass, and a few of the beads used in the project.

Club Scrap Collections Half-Crochet Twisted Strands and Wheel & Sprocket Triple Crochet Braided NecklaceI used the left-over clay from my box to create 7mm Tube Beads with the Amaco Tube Bead Roller Set #1. I then rolled the uncured clay tube across the same inked Nautilus Collage Stamp and proceeded to sure the beads. I made rough cuts with my blade in order to keep the look and feel more rustic... if you wait til the clay is partially cooled, the randomness will occur more naturally!

On my friend's necklace, I used Club Scrap's Collections 6/06 Embellishment Pack Beads with approximately 2 2/3 yards of 24 gauge copper wire (Hirschberg, Schutz & Co) my handmade clay beads, and some translucent gold seed beads that I crocheted together into a single chain with a USF5/3.75mm crochet hook. The end strand measured about 21-22" long. I also took a matching length strand of the non-clay beads that were simply added to a length of the same wire, and then I twisted them together before adding a handmade 1.5" copper wire clasp and eye hook. The end result is a 19.5-20" necklace!

Of course, my daughters were jealous! So I needed to make a necklace for them! The top piece to the left is an unfinished and not fully twisted necklace that I made with some of the remaining Collections 6/06 Embellishment Pack Beads, Red 20 gauge Darice Craft Wire, red E beads, and some red, teal, and light blue seed beads.

And, could I be left out of the mix? No! I made myself the lower necklace, to the right, by braiding together three crocheted strands of Wheel & Sprocket 8/06 Beads, some black seed beads, and Black 20 gauge Darice Craft Wire.

When you crochet with wire, make sure your wire is pliable and thin enough. Each time that you draw a new loop through, have a larger bead between the existing chain and your crochet hook. Alone, this will create a strand where you only have beads on one of three sides of your chain . . . I recommend having some small beads (seed or slightly larger) that you push onto the newly formed loop before you draw a new loop through. To prepare for this, take your wire (I used 2 2/3 yd per adult necklace strand when doing a 2 strand twisted necklace, you'll need to adjust the length based on how tightly you crochet) and string beads onto it to fill about the length that you want your finished strand to be, and a little extra for good measure! You may want to put on one larger bead with two smaller ones between each large bead . . . or pick a large number of random beads that are all small enough to force onto your loops through the existing chain!

Braiding three crochet strands together allows for more uneven crocheting to be covered up... after you braid, shape your necklace and use your fingers to smoosh any ungainly loops back into the body of the necklace! Enjoy!

Half Crochet Twisted Necklace Strands

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Forget to Take Photos? Never Fear!

Have you ever forgotten to take photos at a special event? Or just been too busy? Why not take a photo of an object that was significant to the event and scrap or blog about it? That's just what I've done, today!

Last night I ran a Cub Scout Den Meeting where we taught our 3rd Grade Bear Cubs how to handle and carve with pocketknives! (You can read all about it at my Myspace Blog!) Obviously, I was a little too busy for a great photo-op, but that's not going to stop me!

Instead, I took my son's pocketknife and photographed it in my brand-new (hand-me-down, but new to me!) Calumet Photo Cocoon, placing the cocoon on top of my large lightbox.

On its own, the photo was a little dull for my blog . . . But team that up with some of Club Scrap's Digital Kits and I have a wonderful mini-layout (4"x6" at full size) for my blog and to add to a 6"x6" Cub Scouting scrapbook later with my son's journalling!

Ivory Elegance 12/06 DigiGoodies Kits to "stamp" the backgrounds. I darkened some of the greens to match my knife better. I also added drop shadows and inner glows (normal mode instead of screen) to the papers and filled the pin in a seperate layer with grey, which I added a Chrome filter to. (Also, remember that you can get very similar physical scrapbooking items for I used Club Scrap Surf's Up! 7/06 DigiGoodies Kit as the base paper, fiber, and tag for my layout, but added transparency images from their Interior Designs 11/06 and Surf's Up! 7/06, Interior Designs 11/06, and Ivory Elegance 12/06!)

I am so proud of all my Bear Cubs and am going to email my Myspace Blog entry to each of the families! They did such an incredible job and I hope that my little digi-layout and message help the families to understand just how attentive the boys were and how much they accomplished!

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Beaded Chain Necklaces

Each and every month there is both a new full Portion Cup of Beads and an Embellishment and Bead Pack to coordinate with the month's kit! They usually come with plenty of beads in this particular size range and a wonderful color arrangement!

Why not create some simple Beaded Chain Necklaces and Bracelets from them? Or, better yet, let me teach a jewelry workshop for you! A full, adult-sized necklace can take up to 2 hours, but a bracelet can go quicker and leave everyone with the skills and the supplies to make many more!

Here are a few examples of them, using only beads from the kit, wire, and occasional charms or findings from the local craft shop!

Childs Necklace CS Fizz 1/07 by Neith Juch

On the Fizz January 2007 Child's Necklace, I created my own, off centered, heart-shaped link to match the prints and stamps from the kit and will be giving it to my daughters with a matching Valentine's Day card!

This Interior Designs November 2006 Butterfly Necklace uses larger beads, roughly matched for size and color with the bead on the opposite side of the chain . . . There's no reason to limit yourself to just one size or shape of beads!

This Ivory Elegance December 2006 necklace uses plastic wrapped FunWire salvaged from a beaded reindeer ornament kit! The end result is that it matches an outfit of mine perfectly and has a wonderful and unique look!

On this Wheel & Sprocket August 2006 Red Hatter necklace, I had a lot of fun creating the pendant! The beads are a clearer bright red and deep purple, but with the triple looped finding that I created, all that I can see is a wonderfully curvy woman with her arms swinging as you move!

There are countless ways to use a beaded chain like this... add focal beads or pendants that you buy or create, use multiple strands, add charms to each link for a fun bracelet, etc! Even coordinating earrings!